Andy Murray column: Queen's loss means more Wimbledon practice

By Andy MurrayWimbledon champion
Andy Murray falls to a surprise defeat by Radek Stepanek at Queen's.

It looks like I'll be heading to Wimbledon a little earlier than planned after losing to Radek Stepanek at Queen's.

I'd never say it's a blessing in disguise - I don't enjoy losing and I messed up that first set by missing so many set points - but at least I now get the chance to give my body a bit of a break.

I've played a lot of tennis over the past few weeks after reaching the French Open semi-finals and I'll have a rest on Friday and Saturday, before getting back on the practice court at Wimbledon on Sunday.

It will also give me the chance to watch a few World Cup matches - I'll give you my tip at the end of the column.

I had planned to take Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off if I'd got to the final at Queen's, but that can just move forward and give me five or six days on the grass next week.

My new coach, Amelie Mauresmo, is going to play in an exhibition while I'm resting and we'll get back together after the Rally For Bally charity match at Queen's on Sunday afternoon, when we can head over to the All England Club to start work.

We haven't worked out the specific details of how many weeks she might travel with me in the future, but part of the reason I want to have a coach with me for a decent amount of time is that it makes communication easier.

Andy Murray and Amelie Mauresmo share a laugh during practice
Murray is looking forward to spending some more time with his new coach Amelie Mauresmo

It can be quite hard when someone is leading the team but they're not around that much, because they don't know how physical matches have been, or all the stuff you've been doing on the court or in the gym.

Obviously, Amelie and I don't know exactly how it's going to work out yet because we've only spent two days together, and I've been playing matches on those days, so there's not a whole lot you can do in that time.

My match against Paul Henri-Mathieu on Wednesday finished quite late and I went out and hit a few more balls afterwards, then saw the physio. I had a little chat with Amelie after that but there was no chance to go out for dinner or spend the evening together as I had a match to prepare for the following day.

Next week we'll have a lot of time to talk on the practice court in a bit of peace and quiet, before things start to get a bit hectic in the few days before Wimbledon starts.

Amelie is a former Wimbledon champion, so she's experienced all of that, and she also knows that however many times you go through it, making the switch from clay to grass is tricky.

For the last four or five weeks, when I've been serving on clay, the ball has come back slowly and I've been hitting the ball up high. On grass, it comes back faster and lower, and I struggled with that against Stepanek.

Amelie Mauresmo wins Wimbledon
Amelie Mauresmo won Wimbledon in 2006, battling back after losing the first set to Justine Henin

The body also takes time to adjust to the different movements. I've been sliding on the clay for weeks and that's different to the way you have to stop on these courts.

You have to stay a lot lower on grass and that works your hips, backside and lower back as you bend down a lot more. On the clay you use your quads as you're getting the ball up higher.

The good news is my body feels good, it's just little technical things that I have to work on, and two days isn't always enough when you come up against a good opponent.

So while I'm staying off the court and out of the gym for the next couple of days, I can turn my attention to the World Cup.

Most of the games are fairly late so I'll probably watch them at home, maybe with a few friends. We've got a sweepstake going but I haven't picked my teams out yet, and I'm hoping there are still a couple of contenders left.

Sergio Aguero scoring for Manchester City
Can Sergio Aguero shine at the World Cup, like he did for Champions Manchester City this year?

I have done a fantasy World Cup team and I'd say my best player is Sergio Aguero. In the Premier League you have to think about 38 games; in the World Cup you need guys who aren't going to get knocked out in the group stage.

I think Argentina will do well, with the climate and everything, and it could be Messi's time to shine.

Andy Murray was talking to BBC Sport's Piers Newbery.

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